Waiting for Beauty(A Short Story) I’ve waited so long to feel…beautiful.
I’ve wanted to relate to that public figure, who looks just like me, whose existence makes me feel…pretty.
I hear the world’s version of perfection, but I never see it in my own reflection.
I was never thin for the size zero, never had curves to fit the curvy wave. My eyes were never almond, nor deep sky blue, Egyptian looking or dreamy, like those portrayed on those feminine perfect printed profiles. These teeth have never fitted the way they should; they’ve leaned nearer to beige than Hollywood. These things can be changed.
One thing holds my beauty back: Pale skin has had a chance to be adored, along with anything resembling light. The caramels, toffees and oranges have had their glory; but no one has come forward that looks like me.
Finally, a female like me is represented to the world, across all homes and television screens. It takes one idol before the mahogany’s, cocoa’s and hazel’s are claimed as high queens, awarded with the acceptance trophy, finally holding the ticket that says they are fine the way they are.
‘Why has it taken so long?’ I ask myself.
‘Why has it taken someone to show you?’ A friend asks me. In her voice there’s concern, but I feel no acknowledgment.
‘You don’t understand’, I shake my head, ‘ You have always been perfect, that perfect shade, never too dark, yet not too light. Hair which touches your shoulder without chemicals. There are women like me who bleach to be like you. Lighter girls burn, soaking the sun’s rays just to have your skin’ I repeat, ‘ Your skin has never been stamped with Ugly’s signature. Your type is constantly praised, there is never a fault. ’
‘So that’s what you think?’ she chuckles, a tint of resent escapes, ‘Am I the perfect shade? Who made this up?’ She continued, ‘If I lived my life as a shade, I would be my parents shame to a racist; I would be incomplete to a full native; I would be vain, snobbish and ignorant to all those who think a shade make up my beauty.’ She lowered her voice, ‘Why do you wait to be told that you are pretty? Why should it take a celebrity for you to accept yourself as whole? I judge you on your humour, kindness, intelligence and more. That’s how you should judge your beauty.’
‘Why did it take Lupita Nyong’o to become a public figure before the world started adoring girls with a chocolate shade’ was a thought which has popped in and out my mind for a while. This short piece is a product of that thought. I am glad the presence of celebrities like Lupita have encouraged self esteem and other things in black girls and women, at the same time every girl (and guy) should be reminded that they are more than their exterior, and skin shade does not fully define a person.